Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Star Child - Learning for Young Astronomers

Star Child, produced by NASA, is an online learning center for young astronomers and their teachers. Star Child offers content designed on two levels for younger and older elementary school students. Star Child has activities that students can do independently online and offline activities that students and teachers can do together. One of the great things about Star Child is that each student information page contains an audio recording (in Quicktime) explaining the content to students. These audio recordings make Star Child accessible to students regardless of reading ability. For ESL/ EFL students, Star Child is available in German, Italian, Portuguese, and is soon to be available in Spanish.

Teachers at the middle school and high school levels looking for Astronomy lesson ideas should visit NASA's Imagine the Universe website. In addition to lesson plans, you can also locate podcasts and participate in the Ask an Astrophysicist program.

Applications for Education
Star Child provides a nice mix of online and offline activities that is ideal for elementary school classrooms that have limited access to the Internet.

Here are a couple of related resources that might be of interest to you:
NASA Quests and Challenges
Nine Planets - Tour of the Solar System